Today: February 28, 2024

Aida And More … In Live Cinema Revolution

Benedict Cumberbatch’s Hamlet. Tim Hiddleston’s Coriolanus. Chiwetel Ejiofor’s Everyman. Tickets for these standout stage plays may be scarcer than Ben Grimm’s pants but that doesn’t mean you have to miss out. Thanks to visionaries such as CinemaLive, NT Live and Digital Theatre, opera, drama and dance lovers need no longer queue all day to catch those sold-out productions. They can simply pop down to their local cinema.

A few years ago, many would have argued that viewing live drama in a cinema was the absolute antithesis of the theatre experience. But with short-run plays in big demand, live theatre screenings are starting to win over the cynics. No only do they bring in revenue for the theatres and open up the experience to new audiences, but they allow those of us on smaller budgets to see plays in ‘comfort – in good seats!

In September, Opera Australia’s magnificent production of Verdi’s Aida On Sydney Harbour joins the growing list of this Summer’s must-see ‘event cinema’.

For one night only (15th September) multiplexes, independent cinemas and arts centres will screen this spectacular outdoor production which performed to 3,000 people per night during its run on Sydney Harbour.

Featuring the Australia Opera and Ballet Orchestra and Opera Australia Chorus under the baton of Brian Castles-Onion, the international cast includes American soprano Latonia Moore (Aida) whose meteoric rise following her debut at the Met in 2012 has seen her perform the title role of Aida to huge acclaim. Making his Australian debut as Radamès is the internationally renowned Italian tenor Walter Fraccaro while the diva- knock out Milijana Nikolic takes the role of Amneris, daughter of the King of Egypt.  Australia’s popular baritone (and ex-banker) Michael Honeyman plays Amonasro, the King of Ethiopia while award-winning bass David Parkin performs as Ramfis, the High Priest.  Completing this outstanding cast of principals is Eva Kong the Sydney based soprano who takes the role of the High Priestess and the Australian tenor Benjamin Rasheed who plays the Messenger.

All this is set against the stunning backdrop of Sydney’s skyline, stars, a crescent moon,  a kaleidoscopic spectacle on stage, and a fireworks display, for an evening to remember.

Opera Australia’s Spectacular Production of Aida On Sydney Harbour is in cinemas on 15th September. See participating cinemas or visit www.CinemaLive.com for details.

Paula Hammond - Features Editor

Paula Hammond is a full-time, freelance journalist. She regularly writes for more magazines than is healthy and has over 25 books to her credit. When not frantically scribbling, she can be found indulging her passions for film, theatre, cult TV, sci-fi and real ale. If you should spot her in the pub, after five rounds rapid, she’ll be the one in the corner mumbling Ghostbusters quotes and waiting for the transporter to lock on to her signal… Email: writerpaula@icloud.com

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